Webbs work together for Boyle softball

April 22, 2004|JILL ERWIN

When Boyle County's Tiffany Webb steps into the batter's box, she can hear her father. That's not unusual for softball players, but then again, most of their fathers aren't standing on the field.

Roger Webb is an assistant coach for the Boyle softball team, and he's not shy about offering advice to the players. That includes Tiffany, a senior first baseman who hits cleanup for the Rebels.

Both Webbs insist they handle the dynamics of father-daughter and coach-player just fine.

"It's kind of always there," Roger said of the fact he's her father. "I try to kid with her and try to take the pressure off."

"I know that what he says is right and I should listen, but sometimes I don't," Tiffany said. "He just tells me how I should bat, what I should do to run better."


Roger said they have learned to leave the softball on the field and not take it home with them. But when they are on the field, sometimes things need to be said.

Boyle coach Heather Oates said she sometimes steps in to make things easier.

"She responds well, she listens to her father, but yet there's a dynamic there," Oates said. "There are certain things that I probably need to say to her where it's harder to hear from dad."

But Dad has plenty of experience. Webb played for 20 years on a traveling fast-pitch softball team, earning three state titles and playing upwards of 75 games a summer. He said the pitchers were throwing 90 miles per hour in that league.

While he was a standout baseball player at Boyle when he was in high school, he says he'd rather watch fast-pitch softball than baseball because "it's a coaching game."

That love of the game led him to join Boyle's staff as an assistant. But he's learned when to make his point with his daughter.

"When she's mad, I don't talk to her," Roger said. "She's learned to catch on her own. She'd get mad at me."

Tiffany's not the only one. Conflicts between coaches and players are nothing new, and Tiffany said she's not getting in the middle of any problem between a teammate and her father.

"He's a coach, and if they get mad at him, that's fine," Tiffany said. "I get mad at him sometimes."

Broken nose shows how close-knit the Rebels are

Tiffany said the Rebels are a tight-knit group this year. That close-knit feeling became more evident two weeks ago after a game with Tates Creek. Tiffany was running the bases and caught a throw from the catcher in the face, breaking her nose.

Boyle teammates sent cards and flowers and visited her to make sure she was all right.

"The most proud I've ever been was when her teammates sent flowers and cards," Roger said. "The team really looks up to her. I don't think Tiffany really realized that."

"It made me feel good," Tiffany said. " I'm glad they cared that much."

Tiffany also cares about her play. Her on base percentage is .360 and she's hit two doubles, but said she considers herself "average at everything, but not really good at anything."

Oates would disagree.

"Tiffany brings a very good glove to this team at first base," Oates said. "She's tough. She comes to play, and she plays hard. I know if the ball is hit to her, she will field it and execute. If she's expected to get a job done, she'll do it to the best of her ability.

"She has qualities that I really appreciate in people: Enthusiasm, a desire to be there, a desire to have fun and to help the younger players."

For Roger, he just has one desire for Tiffany's final go-round on the softball diamond.

"I want her to be happy," Roger said. "I want her to have a good senior year."

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